Football - Jucilei confident of Spurs scalp

Dramatic budget cuts mean Anzhi Makhachkala are a shadow of their former selves, but Jucilei, one of the club's last remaining stars, believes they can beat Tottenham on Thursday.

PA Sport Report

Hailing from the capital city of Dagestan, the club spent millions of pounds chasing domestic and European glory.

The likes of Samuel Eto'o, Roberto Carlos and Willian all arrived in Russia, only for what was dubbed as 'The Anzhi Project' to spectacularly unravel this summer.

Billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov significantly withdrew his backing in August, and Anzhi's B£116million budget was reduced to as low as a reported B£32million as a result, leading to a fire sale of their star players and the sacking of coach Rene Meulensteen after only 16 days at the helm.

Such change has seen the club fail to win this season, although Brazil international Jucilei is confident of causing a surprise against Spurs.

"It will be a very hard game against Tottenham," the 25-year-old captain said. "Our team has undergone a lot of changes.

"Of course, this will be the most difficult game, given the level of our opponent, but I believe that we at Anzhi now also have a good team.

"New people came and they have fitted into the team. We gained unity and we have a good chance to get out of the group."

Gadzhi Gadzhiev is charged with the unenviable task of rebuilding Anzhi, returning for a fourth spell as the club's coach following Meulensteen's departure.

"I know that he is a man of Anzhi," Jucilei said. "He has long been associated with the history of the Dagestan club.

"He constantly motivates us and is why we have overcome the shortcomings associated with our poor pre-season training.

"Our enhanced training has compensated for that and I believe the coach that we will develop our game and we will win [against Tottenham]."

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